We’re “starting fresh” this January, completing 22 mini-challenges in 22 days for a cleaner, fresher and healthier kitchen and grocery budget. We’re down to the last three days, but now is a great time as any to join us! Read about the what’s and why’s on the mini-challenges, as well as the previous days tasks, and jump right on in!
Once you become conscious of the foods you buy and the foods you eat, it’s inevitable that at some point in time, you’ll question the medicines you take too.
On the way home from church on Christmas Eve, Mr. Crumbs said to me in the car, “Babe, I think I may be coming down with something.”
I thought his comment was strange, since he had no symptoms of anything whatsoever, other than starting to feel achy the latter half of service.
We got home, put the wings in the oven, warmed the soup and started plating the food we had prepped earlier in the day. No more than 20 minutes later, in the midst of a hot kitchen and shrimp popping in a frying pan, he doubled over and started shaking, saying he was freezing cold. Given the fact that I was practically sweating, there was no question that something was wrong.
As he was in the bedroom changing into warmer clothes, I browsed our medicine cabinet to see what we had that could possibly help his sudden onset of symptoms, plus anything cold-related since that “getting sick” appeared to be what the family was going to be doing as the new year approached.
I stood in my bathroom, medicine cabinet wide open and found myself disgusted with nearly everything on the shelf.
Multiple varieties of over-the-counter brand name AND store-brand medicines stared me in the face. Every single one of them contained a warning that read something (in part, or completely) like this:
Warning: <insert drug name> may cause stimulation, insomnia, nervousness, excitability, dizziness and anxiety. Some patients have been shown to have an upset stomach, severe abdominal cramping, and vomiting. It has also been reported that use of this drug may be associated with the occurrence of stroke.
I know that modern medicine has a time and a place. While I continuously pray that my family does not become so ill that we have to rely on conventional medicine, I am thankful that it will be available should the time come.
But that warning label scared the dickens out of me.
It was then that I realized how all too often, at the tiniest little inkling of sickness, I reach for “medicine” that could cause serious harm to me and my family. On top of that, repeated use of these drugs can cause our bodies to build up antibodies against the ingredients – both active and inactive. Instead of taking one pill for an ailment, two or three are needed to achieve the same result. Which only compounds and exponentially increases the possibility of an adverse reaction to occur.
As noted in last week’s high-fructose corn syrup challenge, the inactive ingredients should be cause for concern too! HFCS is often used in children’s medicine to help with the taste. As if putting HFCS in “good for you” corn flakes wasn’t enough?!
Day 20 – Address Medications
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. All opinions stated are my own.
Your challenge is to open up your medicine cabinets and review what’s inside. What you toss and keep is completely up to you. Making recommendations and offering how-to’s on food is one thing – medicine is NOT my specialty. However, this no-PhD mom does have three questions that deserve at least a few minutes of your attention.
1. Is the drug expired?
“Medical authorities” across the board believe that it is safe to take drugs past their expiration date. But they are also the ones that say it’s safe to take drugs that can cause strokes and heart attacks in the first place.
One of the few studies conducted on the potency of medicine found that expired drugs may lose anywhere from 5% to 50% of their effectiveness over time. (source)
I don’t know about you, but I’m not willing to risk the health – and life – of my family for even that 5% chance. And I’m not blindly putting my trust in the umbrella group of “medical authorities.”
2. Is the drug necessary?
The majority of the medicines I found in my cabinet were simply not necessary. They were for symptoms of the common cold – stuffiness, congestion, headaches, etc. – all of which can be eased with the much less invasive and risky old fashioned methods of rest, hydration and nutrient dense foods. These three methods truly allow your body to fight off the ickies and recover.
Most drugs simply mask the symptoms to make your days (and nights) easier. In some cases though, taking drugs can actually make your symptoms worse! When is the last time you took a DayQuil (or Comtrex or Sudafed, etc.) and it “cured” your cold? Anyone experience a cloudy head instead?
Using natural methods may take longer, but they’re obviously easier on your body and certainly don’t come with deadly side effects.
3. Is the drug effective?
There were also a handful of nasal sprays in addition to the cold medicines in my cabinet. The strange part though is that half of those didn’t even help me the last time I used them! One gave me severe headaches and another didn’t offer one bit of relief. Why am I keeping medicine that didn’t even work? Why am I keeping medicine that makes me feel worse!
Be especially leery of nighttime medicines. These usually include an ingredient to make you fall asleep (hence the “nighttime” aspect), but how do we know the medicine is working if we’re knocked out cold? What many people don’t know is that these medicines in particular are merely aimed to make you fall asleep. It’s the sleep that heals your body, not the medicine.
But then again, I’m not a doctor.
Day 19 Update
That my friends is what happens why you try to make yogurt while checking your email and doing laundry (and trying to keep a sneaky 3 year away from permanent markers and greeting cards ). It’s hard to know for sure, but I’m guessing I lost a quart of milk somewhere in this disaster. Half of it foamed over and spilled out…
and the other half got cooked to the bottom and sides of the pan.
May I humbly suggest that when you make your own yogurt, don’t walk so far away that you can’t hear it foaming and boiling over?
Despite this, the yogurt making continued. With the help of a fine mesh strainer, I managed to fill nearly three jars and they’re incubating as I write this. Keep your fingers crossed it turns out, otherwise we’re making a lot of milkshakes tonight!!